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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to the Sunday Edition of  Carolina Naturally.
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~ Dwayne Morrison
Today also happens to be Southern Food Heritage Day ...!
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Today in History

680 - Al-Hussein (Al-Ḥusayn ibn) and his followers killed at Karbala by army of Yazid, the Umayyad caliph, on the way to Kufa
1780 - Great Hurricane of 1780 kills 20,000 to 30,000 in Caribbean, hitting Barbados first. Atlantic's deadliest recorded hurricane.
1899 - IR Johnson patents bicycle frame
1938 - Germany completed annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland
1954 - Ho Chi Minh enters Hanoi after withdrawal of French troops
1957 - A fire at the Windscale nuclear plant in Cumbria, UK becomes the world's first major nuclear accident.

Wyoming Made It Illegal To Take A Photo Of A Polluted Stream - Now They’re Being Sued For It.

Ty Cobb and the Strangest Batting Race Ever

by Eddie Deezen
Ty Cobb and Napoleon Lajoie
The 1910 American League batting race would be classified as, unequivocally, the most bizarre in the history of baseball. The race was a two-man battle between two baseball dichotomies. These two divergent hitters were both incredibly talented batsmen and would both end up enshrined in the baseball hall of fame. But, as men, they inhabited two opposite polar extremes.
Napoleon “Nap" Lajoie was a gentle, good-natured, friendly second baseman for the Cleveland team. Because of Lajoie's great popularity and in his honor, the Cleveland team actually changed their name to the Cleveland “Naps". By 1910, Lajoie, besides being beloved by both his teammates and the fans, had already won four batting titles.
On the opposite pole, Ty Cobb, by 1910, was already the most hated and reviled player in all of baseball. A notorious racist, misogynist, bully, bigot, and all around misanthrope, Cobb was hated, not only around the rest of the league, but by many of his own teammates. Nonetheless. Cobb was widely respected as a great hitter, having won the AL batting crown in 1907, '08, and '09.
To spice up the race, Hugh Chalmers of the Chalmers Motor Car Company was offering a brand new Chalmers Model 30 automobile to the eventual winner.
Lajoie had almost a 30 point lead in the race by mid-July and looked like a good bet to win the new auto. But by early September, Cobb had whittled the lead down to eight points. Then, just before a series in Cleveland, Cobb developed an inflamed optic nerve and was forced to sit out the entire series. Again, Lajoie seemed like a lock, but after the inflammation cleared up, Cobb went 5 for 6 in two games in New York, and followed this by going 4 for 7 in two days in Chicago.
By the last two games of the season, Cobb had overtaken Lajoie and built up a sufficient lead. He decided to sit out the final two games, thinking himself a sure thing and imagining his shiny new Chalmers auto. This is where the weirdness begins.
On October 9th, Lajoie was to play his final two games against the St. Louis Browns in a doubleheader at Sportsman's Field in St. Louis. After tripling in his first at-bat, Lajoie stepped up to the plate for at-bat number two. He probably couldn't believe the sight he saw.
Browns' rookie third baseman, Red Corriden, was playing way deep, actually almost out on the outfield grass. Corriden later said that the Browns' manager, Jack O’Connor, told him to play way deep, telling him "one of Lajoie's line drives might kill him.” Seeing this all-too-obvious opportunity, Lajoie bunted the ball and easily beat out a bunt single.
Corriden stayed in the same spot for every future Lajoie at-bat, and Nap happily bunted for six more easy bunt singles. He added another "real" single that day, and reached first base once on an error.
Browns coach Harry Howell sent the team's batboy with a note to the official scorer E.V. Parrish offering him a new suit of clothes if he'd change the error to a hit. Parrish declined- his integrity intact.
LaJoie finished the day going 8 for 9. These extra eight hits pushed him ahead of Cobb in the batting race- it looked like Lajoie would soon be driving his shiny new Chalmers car.
The next day, Lajoie was declared the American League batting champ in several newspapers, winning by from 1 to 3 points, depending on the newspaper account. Cobb's fans (although few and far between) howled, led by Tiger owner Frank Navin. (Eight of Cobb's teammates sent Lajoie a congratulatory telegram.)
American League president Ban Johnson summoned O’Connor, Howell, and Corriden to his office for an investigation. Johnson found that nothing dishonest had occurred (??) but O’Connor and Howell were soon chased out of baseball permanently. Corriden, because he was a rookie, was let off the hook, and continued his career in baseball.
When official final 1910 batting averages were announced by the Sporting News, Ty Cobb was declared the winner, with an average of .385087 to Lajoie's .3840947.
Wisely (and using good P.R.), Chalmers awarded a new Chalmers Model 30 automobile to both Cobb and Lajoie. Did Chalmers have a "favorite" in the race? Lajoie was to later state: “I’ve always understood that the automobile I got ran a lot better than the one he gave to Ty.”
The strange story doesn't end there. Seventy years later, in 1981, a researcher for the sporting news, Paul MacFarlane, in combing over the 1910 batting statistics, discovered that Ty Cobb had mistakenly been awarded two extra hits. Someone, probably inadvertently, somehow credited Cobb with a 2-for-3 day at the plate which never actually occurred. (A hundred years ago, records weren't kept as scrupulously as they are in today's game.)
MacFarlane announced that Nap Lajoie was, indeed, the actual batting crown winner of 1910.
But baseball's then-commissioner, Bowie Kuhn, refused to change the official records, and proclaimed that Ty Cobb would still be listed, officially, as the 1910 batting champ. Cobb's lifetime .367 batting average was kept intact, as was his lifetime hit total of 4,191. With the revision, Cobb's lifetime average would be .366 and his hit total lowered to 4,189. Also, Cobb's records of 12 batting crowns and nine crowns in a row would both be lessened, to 11 and five respectively.
The 1910 batting race, the strangest batting race in baseball history, is disputed to this day by baseball purists and historians.

10 Haunting, Forgotten Stations Served by Britain’s ‘Ghost Trains’

Ghost trains in Britain are not supernatural -they’re real! It’s a term used for trains that serve a vestige of a line that should be closed. They may run once a week or even less often, aren’t advertised, and serve stations that aren’t maintained. Why do they run at all? Because in Britain, it’s more expensive to officially close a line than to keep it open, no matter how poor the service. That leaves a bunch of train stations that are officially open, but hardly ever used, and certainly neglected. Like the Reddish South Station, pictured.
The 3rd least-used railway station in the whole of the UK, Reddish South racked up a mere 26 visitors in 2013/2014. In a strange way, it’s impressive that it’s even that high. Unlike Teesside Airport, which runs a service there and back once a week, trains from Reddish South merely depart. Those wishing to return will have to find another way of getting back.
In other ways, too, the station is utterly dismal. A lack of electric lighting means it becomes a dark and slightly-threatening wasteland at night; a spooky black hole on the edges of the community. As its Wikipedia article glumly points out, even the badly-served Denton station further up the line boasts a bench as its sole passenger facility. Reddish South boasts nothing.
Visually, the station is terrifically unappealing. The cracked and faded platform seems designed for overcast weather, and the steps are badly rusted. The entrance is even gated shut and surrounded with grim signs threatening ‘trespassers’ with thousand pound fines. Perhaps it’s no wonder Reddish South is so badly underused.
Ten such stations are profiled at Urban Ghosts. Some are spookier than others. Is there one near you?

Neighbors concerned about man forced to live on lawn of million dollar mansion by his wife

A private family matter has become very public in the Taylor Lake Village community in Seabrook, Texas . A dispute between a husband and his doctor wife has left him outside, sleeping and living in the yard of his million dollar mansion. According to the police, it’s been going on for the last six months and Sharafat Khan has been forced to live outdoors on and off during that time. Neighbors are very worried because he is elderly, in poor health and in a fragile state. "He’s wearing the same clothing, it’s dirty,” neighbor Debbie Scoggins said. “He has no bathroom facilities, no shoes."
"The weather is starting to get colder,” Laurel Stout, who lives across the street, said. "He’s very frail, he can’t even walk. I’m afraid he is going to die out here in his yard." Mr Khan says his wife kicked him out of the house several months ago, took away his keys and had the locks changed. He said he doesn’t have access to their money and is basically homeless even though he owns half of their mansion. Mr Khan doesn’t feel like he should have to leave because the home and property are just as much his. He said he wants to be allowed inside and he’s hoping he can pressure her into changing her mind. "She doesn’t want me to have any sort of comfort," he said.
Night after night he sleeps on the front porch wrapped in a sheet. During the day he tries to find shade under the trees. On Monday he was eating saltine crackers and drinking a warm bottle of water. Neighbors said if they take him blankets and pillows, the wife takes them away. There are signs posted all over the home instructing the neighbors not to help him or feed him. Khan said the dispute is over his relationship with other family members. She wanted him to cut ties but he refused. Police officers who are familiar with the situation said they have been called out to the home 20 to 30 times in the last six months. There is nothing legally they can do because Mr Khan has every right to be there and they can’t force his wife to let him in. "Our hands are tied," one officer said.
Someone close to the situation said Mr Khan's wife claims she can't file for divorce because she and her husband practice Islam and they strictly follow Sharia law. Mr Khan says this has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with money. "She doesn’t want to hand over half her fortune," he said. He can’t file for divorce because he claims he can't afford to. Adult Protective Services are involved but can’t release specific information about the case because of confidentiality laws. A spokesperson for the agency said they cannot force someone to get help. "I’m just hoping we can find help for him," Scoggins said. "Allowing this to continue is not in the best interest of anyone," Stout said. Mrs Khan says it is a private matter and she does not wish to speak about it.

Concern over 7-inch hole in road

A hole measuring seven inches wide has appeared in Hillary Way, Wheatley, Oxfordshire.
Resident Helen Wright, 35, said the hole appeared at the entrance to the road a couple of weeks ago.
She said: “It started out the size of a 50p piece but it’s now a big problem since we have many children and elderly people living around here.
“Hopefully the issue will be fixed soon.” Oxfordshire County Council said they intended to get the hole filled as soon as possible.

Idaho teen threatened to ‘kill all the girls’ because cheerleaders wouldn’t send him any ‘freaking nudes’

A 15-year-old boy was charged with one count each of threatening violence at a school and telephone harassment in connection with the threats — which spread quickly across social media.

Police seek man who fell into store through ceiling then climbed back out empty-handed

Police in Springfield, Massachusetts, hope the public can help identify a man who literally dropped into the Main Stop Food Mart premises.
The possible would-be burglary happened late on Sunday night and the store’s surveillance camera caught the man’s precipitous entry, through the ceiling and onto the tile floor.
The unidentified, after-hours customer apparently found a way in through the roof, according to the Springfield police report. After falling through the ceiling and landing inside the store, the man can be seen in the video immediately trying to climb back up to the hole he fell through.
Aside from the clean-up and necessary repairs to the building, the store owner found nothing missing. Police said the man looks to be in his late 30s. He was wearing a black baseball hat, dark blue short-sleeve shirt, blue jeans and light brown leather work boots.

Angry lady accused of stealing boyfriend's teeth

A Florida woman was arrested on Thursday after allegedly stealing her boyfriend's teeth and prescription drugs, then filing a false police report because he had upset her, police said.
According to authorities, Felicity Leigh Palma, 44, called police to report a burglary in progress in Port St. Lucie on Thursday evening. She told the officers she saw "two dudes" running from her home, and that her jewellery and money had been stolen, an arrest report said.
Palma's boyfriend told to police that two of his prescription drugs and a pink case containing his false teeth were also missing. As police were investigating, her boyfriend brought over a bag to police that he had found inside Palma's car and dumped the contents onto a table. Out spilled the pink case containing his false teeth.
Palma then stated that he was trying to frame her. Police then noticed the missing prescription drug bottles belonging to her boyfriend inside a purse Palma was carrying. Palma told police that she fabricated the entire incident because she was mad at her boyfriend and wanted to show him how easy it would be for someone to steal from him. She was booked into the the St. Lucie County Jail.

Man's attempt to flee Peru hidden inside a suitcase foiled by airport security

Two men have been arrested at an airport in Peru after being caught red-handed making an attempt at people smuggling.
Video of the incident shows a man with an average-sized suitcase being stopped by a security guard with a sniffer dog at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport.
Despite the dog displaying a keen interest in the case, the man wielding it is reluctant to open it, and with good reason. The guard forces the man to unzip the luggage, revealing another man curled up inside the case.
The pair were arrested on the spot. Reports indicate that the men, who were taken away to be interrogated, have been identified, but that information, along with where they were headed and why they went to such extremes, is yet to be made public.

Man drove into sea in attempt to escape police

A man being chased by police has driven a four-wheel drive into the sea north of Perth, Australia, in an unusual attempt to escape.
Police in four-wheel drives had been following the man for nearly two hours as he drove through sand dunes. It is thought police spotted him earlier because he was driving erratically. The vehicle is thought to have been stolen.
A police plane circled overhead as the drama unfolded on the beach. The man drove into the sea near Two Rocks as a police four-wheel-drive tried to intercept him. Officers watched from the beach as the man clambered from his vehicle as it was swamped by waves.
The two officers went in the surf to apprehend him. The officers battled heavy waves to grab the man and pull him from the surf. At one point the man climbed on to the bonnet of his vehicle, but struggled to stay on as waves washed over him. The vehicle was quickly submerged.
There are videos showing the man driving into the sea here and here.

Man who threatened to eat neighbor and his soul had no intention of eating anyone's soul

A fast food worker from Invercargill, New Zealand, has appeared in court after telling his neighbor he was going to eat him and his soul. Teavanui Emile David Page, 28, appeared before Judge Mark Callaghan on Tuesday charged with resisting police, assault, willful damage and behaving threateningly on August 31. The court was told Page had been highly intoxicated when he saw the victim in the stairwell of the flats where they both lived. Page yelled and swore at the victim, who went to go inside their flat, just managing to get to the door before Page. The neighbor slammed the door, trapping Page's fingers. Page kicked and punched the door and said he was going to eat the victim, his soul and his friends.
He was taken to hospital by police but became aggressive, struggling fiercely, requiring two officers to subdue him. In the patrol car Page raised his leg in close proximity to the driver and had to be restrained. He also headbutted an officer in the shoulder and continued to struggle. At the police station it took five police officers to transport him into a cell. He gave police no explanation for his actions, the court was told.
Page's defense lawyer told the court his client was "blind drunk", having drunk the better part of two bottles of vodka. He had become upset because he couldn't afford his rent and power and it was never his intention to eat anyone's soul, he said. Judge Callaghan said it was more good luck than anything else that the police officers had not been injured, and it was a surprise Page had been able to stand after having drunk so much. Page had not previously appeared in court, Judge Callaghan said. He sentenced Page to 80 hours' community work and ordered him to pay $300 reparation.

Link Dump

Color quiz – Click on the different color   I got 16 out of 16 right
Was it worth getting arrested for?  Warning: Language NSFW

Cracks in the Glass

A falling steel travel mug gave tourists quite a fright earlier this week.

The Daily Nightmare of Life in North Korea

Mired in poverty and malnutrition, surrounded by propaganda touting their Dear Leader, and almost completely cut off from the wider world, citizens of North Korea face a hellish slog through life.

Human Swagger

A recently unearthed extinct human species had hands and feet adapted for a life both on the ground and in the trees.

Archaeological News

The analysis revealed, among other facts, that the victims of Pompeii had very healthy teeth.
Pigs sniffing out edibles on a Scottish island unwittingly discovered the UK's most remote hunter-gatherer civilization.
Intricate designs on the mosaic date to the 4th and 5th centuries AD.
The artwork was uncovered at the site of a 4th-century Roman villa in Tuscany.
Jihadists continue their campaign to destroy the treasured heritage site.
A monogram found at a mysterious Alexander the Great-era tomb suggest it was built for the ruler's lover/friend, Hephaestion.
The now-rusty relics once adorned the deck of a Confederate warship.
The artwork shows buildings arranged along a main street of a city.

Vanishing Cactus

Cactus plants, with their needles and ability to withstand droughts, seem hearty, but many are threatened with extinction.

The Northwest Passage

Capt. Cook's dream route isn't yet a reality. Arctic ice is still surprisingly thick despite global warming, a new study finds.

Universally Simple

Our universe is actually really simple, it's just our cosmological theories that are getting needlessly complex, argues one of the world's leading theoretical physicists.



Paleontology News

The wing has the oldest occurrence of connective tissue in association with flight feathers of birds.
The ancient mammal used its long snout like a vacuum cleaner, pulling up food from the heavily vegetated shoreline.

Coral Bleaching

Global warming and an El Nino event are causing coral bleaching, putting reefs at risk worldwide.

Tail-Mounted Sensor Tells You What Your Dog is Feeling

As previously noted, animal behaviorists have determined that the direction of a dog's tail wag indicates emotional mood. This discovery led Yannis Tsampalis and his colleagues to create TailTalk--a device that will read those tail movements and report them to humans. They've founded a company called DogStar Life to develop and market this product. Yahoo News reports:
TailTalk transmits the emotional data to a companion app for iOS and Android via Bluetooth. Ideally, the information will enable owners to emphasize the environments, people, toys and so forth that bring their pets the most happiness, while avoiding stress inducers. […]
“If you know that your dog is really unhappy during the day, it’s probably in the best interest of both of you to have a dog walker or dog sitter come over,” he suggested. “We feel that pet parents are wonderful, but if they had more data, they can probably make better decisions and create a stronger bond between them and their dog.”

Rabbit with tusk-like teeth abandoned by side of road

A rabbit whose teeth were so overgrown that it was unable to eat, has been found abandoned in Cambridgeshire. The RSPCA said the teeth on the female domestic rabbit, spotted by a member of the public, were "some of the worst" it had seen.
Inspector Justin Stubbs said: "Had she not been found when she was, she would have likely starved to death." The rabbit, which has been renamed Holly after the vet who attended to her, has now had the teeth removed. The RSPCA said she should make a "good recovery" and will hopefully be re-homed.
Her bottom teeth were about 4cm (1.5in) long and protruded from her mouth, with the top teeth a similar length. Mr Stubbs said: "Who knows how long she had been living stray like this but it could be that someone let her go or dumped her as a result of not wanting to get treatment for her."
The rabbit was found by the side of the road in Orton Brimbles, Peterborough, last Wednesday. Dr Jane Tyson, rabbit behavior and welfare expert at the RSPCA, said: "A lot of people don't realize that a rabbit's teeth grow continuously. We recommend rabbit teeth are checked at least once a week to ensure they stay healthy."

Apparently orphaned wild boar piglet adopted by two separate herds of cows

A little wild boar piglet in Lower Saxony, Germany, turned up at a Göttingen farm around two weeks ago, cattle farmer Jochen Kraft said. It was Kraft's son who first spotted the newest addition to their herd, he said.
The apparently orphaned piglet, who the pair have since named Johann, was found cozied up amongst a herd of cows. In a "touching" display, the herd treated Johann like one of their own calves, licking the piglet clean and letting him snuggle up to them.
Johann's story was soon picked up by local media, and curious visitors began turning up at the meadow to see the piglet and his new foster family. But the attention was apparently all too much for Johann. The piglet upped sticks again, wandering to a different meadow a few hundred meters away.
Here, he found a new cattle herd to join – and currently lives among five pregnant cows. Johann's newest family have already accepted him and treat him well, said Kraft. The piglet doesn't struggle to find food either: while his pregnant foster-mothers munch on grass, the boar happily forages for may bug larvae and acorns.

Rare mustached bird photographed for first time then killed by researchers to study it further

The first ever photographs of the elusive male mustached kingfisher were recently released by the American Museum of Natural History. They show a vibrant blue adult bird in apparent good health. However, researchers then elected to kill the endangered bird in order to further study it. Paul Sweet, collection manager for the museum’s Department of Ornithology, told Audubon that he and his colleagues assessed the state of the bird’s population and habitat, and concluded it was substantial and healthy enough to withstand the loss.
The suspenseful moments before the bird’s discovery are recorded in a field journal written by Chris Filardi, who is director of Pacific Programs at the museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. He and his colleagues were in the remote moss jungle highlands of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands when they heard a distinctive call: “ko-ko-kokokokokokokokoko-kiew!” They paused and scanned the forest. After time passed, “There in plain sight pumping its tail, crest alert, in full colors, was the mustached kingfisher,” Filardi wrote. “And then, like a ghost, it was gone.” For days the researchers looked for the bird. They set fine nets into the forest canopy, hoping to capture the individual.
After a blustery morning of cold winds and rain showers, they managed to capture the male mustached kingfisher. “When I came upon the netted bird in the cool shadowy light of the forest I gasped aloud, ‘Oh my god, the kingfisher,’” Filardi recounted. “One of the most poorly known birds in the world was there, in front of me, like a creature of myth come to life.” Photographs were taken of the bird. Frank Lambert, another member of the research team, also managed to record the bird’s distinctive call. The recording has not yet been released. The mustached kingfisher is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is estimated that there are only 250–1000 mature individuals left, but the bird’s elusiveness puts even those figures into question.
Its entry on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species reads: “This spectacular species is judged to be endangered on the basis of a very small estimated population, which is suspected to be declining, at least in part of its range. However, further research may reveal it to be more common.” The decision to kill the bird has led to heavy criticism. Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, said: “Killing ‘in the name of conservation’ or ‘in the name of education’ or ‘in the name of whatever’ simply needs to stop. It is wrong and sets a horrific precedent for future research and for children. Imagine what a youngster would think if he or she heard something like, ‘I met a rare and gorgeous bird today…and I killed him.’ Even if this handsome male were a member of a common species, there was no reason to kill him. It sickens me that this practice continues and I hope more people will work hard to put an end to it right now, before more fascinating animals are killed.”